It takes a whole community to effect change. Finnotec is on a mission to rally the community, influence change and enable New Zealand to be a centre for fintech excellence.
Back in 2015, a couple of years after quitting a day job in pursuit of a startup idea, I was struck by the fact that while there were other fintech entrepreneurs too in New Zealand, there was no coordinated approach to creating an ecosystem or to pull everyone in the community together. To flush out the players in the sector, I thought to myself: 'let's put an event together to see who turns up'. After almost a year of planning in my 'spare' time, Finnotec 2016 was launched as New Zealand's first annual fintech event, with a surprisingly large turnout. The event is now run annually.
Each year Finnotec brings together some of the leading minds in the financial technology sector, both from New Zealand and overseas to discuss, design and shape the future of fintech in New Zealand. Finnotec draws both incumbents and startups alike with the singular aim to not only showcase our best but to forge a collaborative future.
The event is peppered with both thought leadership sessions as well as product demos and pitches. With ample time for networking, the event attracts entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, senior corporate leaders, professional service firms, policy makers and regulators, with wide coverage by the media.
After many years in the investment management industry, Binu launched his first start-up in 2014, the SavvyKiwi iTunes app - a pioneering NZ-first fintech solution to help Kiwis navigate their retirement savings decisions. In November 2017 he co-founded PocketWise, a financial product shopping website helping users save money by finding them the best deals.
Prior to completing the Implementing Corporate Strategy course at the Wharton business school of the University of Pennsylvania, Binu gained a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelors’ degree in Technology (B.Tech) and qualified as a registered representative of the New Zealand Futures and Options Exchange.
Binu currently consults part time to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and to a number of financial advisory practices. Previously he headed up business strategy for an NZ-based Japanese asset management firm, managing about $4 billion in funds. Prior to that, Binu was chief executive of an investment research and consulting firm, overseeing its successful sale to the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX). He has successfully completed corporate restructuring projects, product development and commercialisation initiatives.
Binu has consulted and offered services to a wide range of clients, including fund managers, private bankers, financial planners, trustees, professional services firms as well as policy makers and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. He has also worked in the technology and corporate finance sectors overseas.
Binu founded Finnotec in 2016 and has been running it annually since then. He is also a founding member of FinTechNZ (estd. 2017), of which he is currently the Chair of the International Relations working group.